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Weedy Sea Dragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus).
IMAGE: Wikipedia

Kiama and Shoalhaven residents are being asked to keep an eye out for dead weedy sea dragons washing up onshore.

Dr David Booth a professor of marine ecology at the University of Technology in Sydney, believes about 10 times the normal wash-ups are occurring.

Dr Booth believes it is most likely caused by a mix of factors including rising temperatures, and the recent storms causing runoff to enter the oceans.

Weedy seadragons are mostly found in Australia and large populations are regularly spotted just off Kiama by local divers.

They are the very colourful cousins of the more common seahorse.

Anyone spotting a dead weedy is asked to contact the Fish Ecology Laboratory at UTS with the time, location and ideally a photo.

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